Updated: Aug 6, 2022
What is it that makes some personalities so difficult to relate and communicate to? Isn't it the fact that they are unlike us and we don't understand them? Mr. Rogers once said that we can learn to love anyone, once we understood their story. This is beautifully portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" where he wonderfully portrays Fred Rogers. In a memorable scene he is on set in the studio, where he has been for over 73 minutes. His filming crew is very frustrated with him and even asks if they can fire him, as he is spending an unusual amount of time with a "difficult" child. The young boy is maybe 5 or 6 years old and is refusing to cooperate and swinging a plastic sword around, even hitting other people. Mr. Rogers tells him that he bets the sword is very heavy and that he must be strong to swing it and that he believes he is very strong. At this affirming word, the young boy drops the bat and hugs Mr. Rogers. He has been disarmed literally, by Mr. Rogers seeing value in him beyond his behavior. Mr. Rogers saw beyond the difficult behavior to the actual young man and was able to understand and relate to him.
John Maxwell states that in order to lead a difficult personality we must understand their: 1- Personality 2- Temperament 3- Heart 4- Relationships 5- Dreams Once we are able to tap into these key areas and understand them, their story will no longer by a mystery, but we will be able to understand and even love them. Each of us has all 5 of these areas and the better able to understand them in ourselves, the more self-aware we will become and the better able to understand, reach and lead others. John famously says, "Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand". Isn't that the case with us? The ones we will readily follow are the ones who have touched our hearts and believed in us. If your team can use a "leg up" in understanding and connecting with one another, please let me know, I'll be happy to be your partner in creating a more understanding and supportive culture for everyone.